Learning from the past, living in the moment, and leaving footprints for the future. Stories of lov

Friday, October 7, 2011

Follow Friday - Discovering Cousins

Diana and Kathryn

It never ceases to amaze me discovering new cousins and being able to share family history together.  But also learning about each other and the direction that life takes each of us that connects with what went on before. 

I had the extreme pleasure of meeting my first cousin 1x times removed, Diana Lewis Burgin, the daughter of Ruth Burgin (see story "Talented Tuesday - A Child Prodigy", the story of the little girl who became a famous violinist /2011/07/child-prodigy.html).  Diana has the most beautiful violin tattooed on her wrist.  She says she can still hear her mother yelling downstairs to her "Diana, that is a B sharp"as she practiced the violin.

Diana kneeling before
her great grandfather Emil A. Posselt
She drove down from Boston to meet me at the Central Cemetery in Middleboro.  It was here that I showed her where her grandparents were buried. Ida Lewis Pierce who married Emil A Posselt both rest in the Pierce family plot.  Around this granite stone lay markers with just the initials of nine family members  She had looked before but couldn't find them.  We are both great great granddaughters of Thomas Warren Pierce and Mary Ann Besse.

Then we made a call to a gentlemen who maintains the cemetery records.  He offered to meet us there to show her where the remainder of her family was.  Low and behold, there were no markers for five members, but all were around this one particular stone. 

This beautiful stone etched with violins for Emanuel Ondricek (Diana's Uncle) was placed there by a student who respected the talents and teachings of this man.  Diana now plans to place a stone for the others that rest there.

Diana teaches Russian at the University of Mass, Boston. She also has a website where she shares the remarkable Burgin history, http://www.dianaburgin.com/, if you would like to learn more about this branch of the family tree.

Diana is in the process of writing a book about her mother and the interesting world of music in which her mother lived and the talented people within it.  We plan on keeping in touch.


  1. How wonderful that you've had an opportunity to connect with your cousin. That is such a blessing.

    While I've re-connected with 1st cousins once and twice removed whom I knew when I was a little girl, and have also had the pleasure of getting to know some third cousins, I have also had a few other distant cousins not respond to me. I have discovered them through my research and have written to them in hopes of making their acquaintance and learning more family history, but they have not responded to me. I fear they think I am some sort of crazy internet stalker. Any suggestions? (I actually provide them a paper trail of our connection, so that they know up front that I am legitimate...still no response.)

    I do rejoice though in getting rconnected to my other cousins, and I'm glad you have had that opportunity too.

    1. Patti, Sometimes there is just no understanding why others don't respond. I do know, that I approach others slowly, not over-whelming them with information. I give them just enough for them to want to know more, so they do respond back. It is then that we can begin a dialog.
      Sorry it took me so long to respond. I only recently figured out how to this by setting up my account with Google.

  2. How neat. I love stories of cousins meeting each other. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Awesome post! It is great to see cousins help each other with family stories.


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